An idea in the making
A blockchain, originally block chain, is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.
Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree. Each block includes the hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain. This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.
A hard fork term refers to a situation when a blockchain splits into two separate chains in consequence of the use of two distinct sets of rules trying to govern the system. For example, Ethereum has hard-forked to “make whole” the investors in The DAO, which had been hacked by exploiting a vulnerability in its code. In 2014 the Nxt community was asked to consider a hard fork that would have led to a rollback of the blockchain records to mitigate the effects of a theft of 50 million NXT from a major cryptocurrency exchange. The hard fork proposal was rejected, and some of the funds were recovered after negotiations and ransom payment.
An altcoin is any digital cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. The term is said to stand for “alternative to Bitcoin” and is used describe any cryptocurrency that is not a Bitcoin.
Coins are currencies that can be used for buying and selling things. You can buy a token with a coin, but not vice versa. Coins operate independently, while tokens have a specific use in the project’s ecosystem.
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.
In business it is basically the same thing:
A business ecosystem is the network of organizations—including suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors, government agencies, and so on—involved in the delivery of a specific product or service through both competition and cooperation.
The idea is that each entity in the ecosystem affects and is affected by the others, creating a constantly evolving relationship in which each entity must be flexible and adaptable in order to survive as in a biological ecosystem.
The economies we live in are not all that hard to explain.
Here is a good video explaining it all in a clear and definitive manner:
Believe it or not, money is not controlled exclusively by the governments we elect.
However, the economic system we have in place, based on debt is rather complex.
To better explain “control” of “our” money, one needs to better understand and review the role of governments and the roles of central banks and commercial banks.
Negative Interest Rates Explained
Once again, to understand negative interest rates, we need to understand the above two listed items.
To “help” ensure a debt dependent economy functions, those who control the money can stimulate debt so that the economy keeps “functioning”.
A great explanation is given in the following video:
Hive is a blockchain that forked from the Steem blockchain.
It is decentralized and has no centralized company at the head of it. Hence it is exactly what the nature of “decentralization” requires.
Apart from offering everything that Steem had to offer, the chain is from its very beginning promoting the diversification and expansion of the overall utilization of blockchain technology.
The access to opportunities is not governed by any one centralized authority, but rather by all stake holders aka “the community”. Again a further confirmation of the decentralized nature of governance.
Apart from blogging, the Hive blockchain can handle fast and free transactions at speeds and quantities that outdo many of the banking/financial institutions out there.
All transactions are guaranteed to be completed in under three seconds. This is nothing short of “real time”.
Steem is a blockchain database that supports community building and social interaction with cryptocurrency rewards. Steem combines concepts from social media with lessons learned from building cryptocurrenciesand their communities. An important key to inspiring participation in any community, currency or free market economy is a fair accounting system that consistently reflects each person’s contribution. Steemis the first cryptocurrency that attempts to accurately and transparently reward an unbounded number of individuals who make subjective contributions to its community.
Source: Steem Whitepaper
Collectively, user-generated content has created billions of dollars’ worth of value for the shareholders of social media companies, such as Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter.In 2014, Reddit hypothesized that its platform would be improved if everyone who contributed to reddit.com by posting stories, adding comments or voting were rewarded with a fair share in Reddit, Inc.1Steem aims to support social media and online communities by returning much of its value to the people who provide valuable contributions by rewarding them with cryptocurrency, and through this process create a currency that is able to reach abroad market, including people who have yet to participate in any cryptocurrency economy. Of the key principles used to guide the design of Steem, the most important is that everyone who contributes to a venture should receive pro-rata ownership, payment, or debt from the venture.
Steem is designed around a relatively simple concept:
everyone’s meaningful contribution to the community should be recognized for the value it adds. When people are recognized for their meaningful contributions, they continue contributing and the community grows.
& Steem has “Free” transaction fees!
Source: Steem Whitepaper
The Value is in the Links
The internet would lose the vast majority of its value if all links among content were removed. It is the
relationship among web pages that allows Google to identify the best apple pie recipe among the 16 million results. Without the links, the only information Google would have would be word frequency.
Source: Steem Whitepaper
In the field of crypto-currencies, the unique properties of STEEM make it both “smart” and “social” compared to others
This stems from two new token features.
The first is a pool of tokens dedicated to incentivizing content creation and curation (called the “rewards pool”).
The second is a voting system that leverages the wisdom of the crowd to assess the value of content and distribute tokens to it. These two unique properties when combined are referred to as Proof-of-Brain, which is an entendre based on Proof-of-Work4, meant to emphasize the human work required to distribute tokens to community participants. Proof-of-Brain positions STEEM as a tool for building perpetually growing communities, which encourage their members to add value to the community through the built in rewards structure.
Rewards for Content Creators and Curators
The users who produce content are adding value to the network by creating material that will drive new users to the platform, as well as keep the existing users engaged and entertained. This aids in distributing the currency to a wider set of users and increases the network effect. The users that take time to evaluate and vote on content are playing an important role in distributing the currency to the users who are adding the most value. The blockchain rewards both of these activities relative to their value based on the collective wisdom of the crowd collected through the stake-weighted voting system.
Source: Steem Bluepaper
Speed and Scale on the Steem Blockchain
The Steem blockchain is designed to be one of the fastest and most efficient blockchains in
existence, which is necessary to be able to support the amount of traffic expected on a social media platform larger than the size of Reddit. Steem has already surpassed Bitcoin in number of transactions, and is able to scale to support 10,000 or more transactions per second.
The unique rewards and incentive program offered by the Steem blockchain and token are de-
signed to make Steem the ultimate on-ramp into cryptocurrency for mainstream users. The performance of the blockchain is designed with widespread mass adoption of the currency and platform in mind. When combined with the lightning fast processing times and fee-less transac-tions, Steem is positioned to become one of the leading blockchain technologies used by people around the world.
Source: Steem Bluepaper.